The Return of Personal Cards

Personal Cards

Retro.  Revival.  Vintage.  What’s old is new again and we see this in fashion, films and interior décor.  It’s not unusual to have a friend who has a 1920s bob hair style, wears 1970s caftan dresses and serves tea from her Danish modern ceramic tea pot.  Platform shoes and fishnet stockings are sold next to tailored pencil skirts and cardigan sweater sets.  The interesting aspect of this return to the good old days is of course that the nostalgia is compartmentalized.  I might love the fashion of the 1950s but I don’t long for the Cold War politics.  I like furniture from the 1910s but I appreciate having the right to vote more.  In addition, antique stores sell a brisk trade in old glass ware but nobody is getting rid of their satellite television or cell phones.

Of all of this retro fascination, my favorite is the return of manners.  Saying “please” and “thank you” go along way in making an ordinary day pleasant as well as holding the door open for somebody, wiping or removing your shoes before entering a house and actually adhering to the RSVP of an invitation.  Recently I have noticed another trend in rediscovering jewels of the past and that’s the return of personal cards.  During the 19th century it was customary for people to carry a set of small cards printed with their name and artwork that would be left as a reminder of their visit.  Eventually these cards became less personal and more professional and evolved into the business card.

Business cards still exist of course but more and more people are finding themselves employed in non-traditional or freelance work.  Professional information and contact cards are adapting to include more creative artwork and personal information in order to meet these needs.  Moreover, many women are finding it useful to be able to offer a card noting their contact information as a way to help friends keep track of the different social media applications.

Mommy cards are offered by several card printers to allow parents to exchange information at schools, playgroups and other child-centered social events.  Some of these cards include the names of the children.  I think this is great because there are times when I am actually greeted as “Larkin’s mom” and there are parents I only know as “Genevieve’s.”

Personal cards can be more dynamic than business cards and allow for more design choices and embellishments.  Rather than see these as reckless self-promotion, I think that they are the perfect accessory for the modern person who wants to be known for their ideas or abilities beyond their employment status.  My cards announce that I am a freelance writer while a friend of mine created hers to advertise both her day job and her amazing knitting talents.  My father is retired but still has a great deal of experience to offer and let’s people know about his knowledge and expertise through his personal cards.

I keep personal cards given to me in my day planner.  I tape them to the Contacts page.  Some people use business card booklets purchased at office supply stores instead.  The cards help me remember something unique about each person as well as the many ways I can communicate with them, i.e. phone, Facebook, Pinterest and email.  In return, I give my personal cards to friends and to people I meet that I think will be a good network contact in the future.  The cards are easy to design, affordable and creative.

The best part about personal cards is the fun had in designing them.  Instead of expressing myself through expensive clothing or jewelry, I can choose retro and vintage designs, photos and fonts for my cards.  It’s true that what’s old will be new again sooner or later, but having a personal style and staying in touch with friends never goes out of season.


Bonnie is a writer and contributor at Mango Salute which is a small boutique greeting card company that specializes in custom cards. They produce cards from 21st birthday cards, random cards to say hi, every religious holiday you can think of, and everything in-between. In her spare time Bonnie loves to try interesting restaurants and one day hopes to travel to France for the best culinary experience in the world.

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